By Riley Dauber
When it comes to Republican congressman George Santos, some things are too good to be true.
Santos won his position in the Nov. 2022 midterm election, and “represent[s] parts of Long Island and Queens in Congress,” according to CBSNews.
However, nearly a month after the election, The New York Times released a piece announcing that most of Santos’ resume was false. His time at Horace Mann, Baruch, and New York University was a lie; he never worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and most of the nice clothes and outfits he flaunted were either bought with stolen checks from his mother or pickpocketed from former roommates and friends.
Once Santos was sworn into office, these private schools, universities, and companies came forward and denied Santos’ claims.
According to New York Magazine, “A spokesperson for [Horace Mann] told CNN in December that there was no evidence he attended Horace Mann…He obtained a high-school equivalency diploma.”
The years Santos said he attended college do not match up with his supposed high school graduation year of 2008. He said he graduated from Baruch College in 2010, “which suggests he would have made it through a four-year program in just two years,” according to New York Magazine.
Both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs denied Santos’ employment as well.
Along with the aforementioned lies about his education and career, Santos also lied about being Jewish, as well as taking part in an “alleged fraud of a homeless veteran seeking medical care for his dog,” according to The Guardian.
The lies consumed the media for the past few weeks of January until Santos withdrew from House committee assignments on Jan. 31, according to NPR.
“[I want to] focus on serving the constituents of New York’s third congressional district and providing federal level representation without distraction,” Santos said.
While one may assume his decision is in response to the accusations, it seems Santos is determined to make a return once the attention dies down.
While his reviews are processed and considered, many New York residents are questioning whether or not he should return, and how he was even voted in in the first place.
According to The New York Times, Santos was able to win over voters with his falsified resume, along with his appearance and looks. The stolen outfit helped paint the perfect image, convincing voters that he was an intelligent and qualified candidate.
“He may wear suits sometimes, but it is the sweaters, in their various permutations, that have been the telling detail, along with the horn-rimmed glasses…both are props that push the buttons of stereotype buried in our subconscious,” Vanessa Friedman wrote for The New York Times.
Now that his lies are unearthed, though, “polling in the third district shows nearly 80% of voters there now think he should [quit],” according to The Guardian.
Considering a situation like this has rarely happened before, Congress seems unprepared with how to handle it.
The proper response moving forward is to remove Santos from Congress. Although he has recused himself from committee hearings, “his seat will be reserved until [he] has been cleared of both campaign and personal financial investigations,” a statement from his office said.
One cannot confidently believe that Santos will be cleared – like the statement implies – due to the large amount of falsehoods revealed over the last few months.
Santos built his campaign on a bed of lies, and it was not until he was sworn in that the deceptions were unearthed. He is unqualified for the position, but of course, that has not stopped other politicians from holding office in the past.
The fact that the public is so suspicious of a person meant to represent them should be enough to consider firing Santos.
As the investigation continues, most of his resume, including his education, occupation, and personal life, have been proven false, so it is confusing as to why his seat is reserved – as if he will return any day now.
The right step moving forward should be to remove Santos from Congress, especially considering that 80% of New York residents from the third district want him to leave the position. He is not the right representative, nor is he qualified.
“It shows that the party stands for nothing. It seems like a million years ago, but there was a time when we said character was destiny. Nobody even knows who this guy is. We literally don’t know his real name,” political consultant Stuart Stevens said.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo Caption: New York’s third district representative George Santos recused himself from House committees on Jan. 31 due to his falsified resume and past controversies.